Expunctions & Non Disclosures

How a criminal lawyer can assist with record expungement and sealing of criminal charges in Texas.

Criminal record.

Criminal infractions of the law will most likely stay on a permanent criminal record, unless there are some special agreed upon circumstances between the accused, via their legal counsel, and the State of Texas.  It is imperative to hire the most competent criminal lawyer available when faced with criminal charges.  Contact a seasoned criminal attorney, who can strategize on a plea deal to lessen the charges, so that a criminal record can be sealed or removed (expunged) in the future.  Expungement, or expunction is the legal process for a person to have a dismissed criminal case removed from the public databases of criminal records in Texas.

Texas law.

Individuals who have been arrested for either a felony or misdemeanor in the State of Texas may be entitled to have their records and arrest files expunged under Section 55.01, if the person is tried and acquitted by a trial court, is convicted and subsequently pardoned, or if they have been convicted of an offense committed before September 2, 2021 under Section 46.02(a), of Texas Penal Code, for unlawfully carrying weapons. Criminal law attorneys can explain options based on an individual’s unique case details.

Texas allows for few criminal records to be expunged, and consist mostly of arrest records.  The following types of criminal records may be expunged in the State:

  • Arrest records that do not lead to criminal charges,
  • Dismissed criminal charges with expired statutes of limitations,
  • Convictions that were pardoned, or overturned on appeal for innocence,
  • Specific juvenile misdemeanors, and
  • Class C misdemeanors, after a successful deferred adjudication.

A Texas criminal lawyer can explain specifics relevant to your case and any pointed deviations from the common standards for expungement requests.   There are waiting periods depending upon the type of arrest record that include:

  • 180 days for Class C Misdemeanors,
  • One year for Class B and Class A Misdemeanors, and
  • Three to five years for felonies, and misdemeanor arrests that had a felony offense. 

Possible expungement scenarios.

  1. Administrative expungement: erroneous arrest due to false reports, mid-identification, and warrants that have the right name, but the wrong person.
  2. Adult record expungement: for criminal records based on eligibility criteria including: no previous sealing, or expunging of a criminal arrest record; no prior guilty adjudication of a felony or misdemeanor; no current court-mandated supervision such as probation, house arrest or community control; and criminal record is not on the excluded list of offenses under Texas Law.
  3. Erroneous or incorrect criminal record expungement: Texas Department of Law Enforcement makes a mistake and a person with no criminal history shows up in the legal system’s criminal database.
  4. Deceased individual record expungement: A criminal record of a deceased individual may be expunged by a close relative if it is eligible under the normal rules of expunction.  The relatives that may carry out this task include spouses, parents, grandparents, adult children of the deceased, and adult siblings of the deceased.

Social platforms.

Social platforms make most records public, including mugshots or arrests. Even if an individual has been exonerated of a crime, proof of an arrest is part of public domain, where sealing and expungement cannot shield an individual from their criminal record.

Record sealing.

Record sealing in the State of Texas is different than having a record expunged.  Records can be sealed with an order of nondisclosure and removed from the public, meaning they cannot be easily accessed by many members of the public.  A nondisclosure attorney can assist in the preparation of these legal documents, which is beneficial for individuals seeking employment, certain housing options, and access to funds for education, and other governmental resources in some cases. Texas does allow certain government agencies access to these records and can share the information with the Texas Board of Nursing, the State Board of Educator Certification, and the Texas Education Agency for example.  Sealed records can also be used in court when it is warranted.  Talk to a nondisclosure lawyer to determine if you can have your records expunged or sealed with the filing of an order of nondisclosure, as there are certain cases where Texas record will not be sealed.  They include murder, aggravated kidnapping, domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking, and sex offenses that require registry. Most misdemeanors charges are eligible for record sealing immediately. 

Expungement disqualifiers.

Individuals who are seeking expungement must keep in mind that there also disqualifiers to expungement that include:

  • Felony convictions within five years from date of arrest requested to be expunged,
  • Statute of limitations is not yet expired on a dismissed case for felony charges,
  • Adults who have received deferred adjudication,
  • Adults having received probation,
  • Request for expungement of charges related to a criminal event under Texas Penal Code § 3.01. 

Competent criminal counsel. 

An expunctions law firm can provide guidance toward the expungement or sealing of information that is detrimental to your future.  Hiring an expunctions attorney at the Law Offices of Sandra Reynolds Oakley may be a prudent decision, as they may be able to assist you with the charges that are brought against you, keep you from going to jail and having a criminal record.  Each case is unique, and the circumstances need to be reviewed by an expunction lawyer specializing in these types of charges.

Law Offices of Sandra Reynolds Oakley

100 North Central Expressway

Suite 805

Richardson, Texas  75080

Phone:  972-744-0444





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